Investigating the Role of Human Resources in School Turnaround:
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Investigating the Role of Human Resources in School Turnaround: A Decomposition of Improving Schools in Two States. Michael Hansen CALDER at the American Institutes for Research 6 th Annual CALDER Conference February 21, 2013 Washington, DC .

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Investigating the Role of Human Resources in School Turnaround:A Decomposition of Improving Schools in Two States

Michael Hansen

  • CALDER at the American Institutes for Research

    6thAnnual CALDER Conference

    February 21, 2013

    Washington, DC

Acknowledgements: This research draws upon work performed under contract with the Institute of Education Sciences (ED-04-CO-0025/0020). This work does not necessarily represent the views of any affiliated institutions, and any and all errors are mine.


The presumed role of human resourcesin turnaround

  • Turnaround, transformation models

    • Prescribe principal and/or teacher turnover

  • Teacher and principal quality are most consequential schooling inputs

    • Assume teacher/principal quality are static


Workforce turnover or human capital development?

  • Which of the two models dominates in past turnaround schools?

  • Results:

    • Evidence of elements of both models playing a role

    • Strong improvements among stable teachers

    • Strong incoming teachers, no evidence on weak outgoing teachers


Longitudinal Data Sources

Florida

  • Math FCAT-SSS

  • Student-teacher linked

  • Spans 2002-03 to 2007-08 years

North Carolina

  • Math EOG tests

  • Student-teacher linked

  • Spans 2002-03 to 2007-08 years

  • Principals


Time Span of Observation Window

Baseline Period

Monitoring Period

TA

CLPs

MI

NI

How is School Performance Identified?


Descriptive Means of the Sampleof Low-performing Schools


Decomposing Performance Improvements across Workforce

  • Pre- vs. post-period

  • Turnaround (TA) vs. non-TA

  • 3 types of teachers in workforce:

    • Outgoing

    • Stable

    • Incoming


Identifying Teacher Groups Contributing to Performance

Outgoing

Stable

Incoming

Pre-period

Post-period


What Workforce Dynamics Turnaround Schools?


What Workforce Dynamics Turnaround Schools?


Teachers: Evidence Suggestive of Human Capital Development


Observed performance in NC Schools


Observed performance in NC Schools


Principals: Similar Evidence of Human Capital Development


Results are Robust to

Alternative Specifications

  • Are these results sensitive to:

    • How teacher groups are categorized?

    • How TA schools identified?

  • No qualitative changes to the estimated relationships


Same Patterns of Improvement Observed in Other Schools?

  • What about middling schools with low growth? How do they improve?

    • Replicate identification and estimation in schools that have higher levels of status, but quick improvement in school growth

  • Improvement of stable teachers most prominent in elementary schools; turnover in middle schools


Summary of Findings

  • Results show strong, robust gains associated with stable teachers

  • Evidence of high-performing incoming teachers, but not outgoing

  • Does not necessarily vindicate either of two workforce models, but suggests mix or spillover


Important Study Limitations

  • Descriptive investigation of outlier schools

    • Not causal or representative

  • Improvements are absorbed into staff, though other interventions may be at work

  • Not an evaluation of specific treatment; not predictive of current efforts


Policy Implications

  • Current policy emphasizes human capital turnover

    • Best use of intervention efforts?

    • Can these successes be replicated?

  • Feeds into larger debate about teacher quality

    • Costs of improvement vs. replacement

    • Individual or context-specific effectiveness


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